This is a little strange and surprising. Nikon appears to be making their own memory cards now. Or, at least, they’re rebranding somebody else’s if not making them themselves. A new listing has shown up on the Nikon website for a Nikon 120GB XQD card. It’s listed as coming at some point during September 2018.
Since Micron sold memory card brand, Lexar to Longsys in China, people have been wondering what’s going on. Will they still keep making those favourite Lexar products? Will they bring out a new range? Or will they just take Lexar’s intellectual property, apply it to other products and not make memory cards at all?
Well, now it seems that we have our answer. Longsys has put out a statement saying that Lexar will be back in “full production” and shipping globally by the autumn.
It seems the fakes are out in force again at the moment. I’ve seen a number of posts across Facebook and other social media where people have ordered SanDisk and other SD cards only to receive counterfeit cards. These days, we need to be vigilant with memory cards.
Memory cards are made to varying degrees of quality, and these forgeries are often whatever’s cheapest. There’s no quality control, because there’s no backlash on them. The last thing you want in the middle of an important shoot is to lose all your work. Or, worse, your client’s work.
I’m sure you’ve been warned plenty of times that you should eject your USB drive or memory card before removing it from your computer. But admit it, do you actually do it? In this video, Linus Sebastian of Techquickie discusses if you should really safely remove your drives, and when it can be absolutely necessary to do it.
When Longsys acquired Lexar from Micron last September, it threw the storage card world into disarray. What was happening to all of Lexar’s products? Were we still going to get support? And what about XQD? Well, it seems when it comes to the last one, Lexar might not have been telling us the whole truth since it went under new management.
B&H switched the status of Lexar XQD cards over to “discontinued” in October. Lexar publicly announced via Twitter back then that they will continue to produce XQD cards and fulfill the B&H inventory “in a few weeks”. Well, it’s now 6 months later, they’re still listed as discontinued. Now, according to Nikon Rumors, Lexar is telling us to wait until the summer. But they may not be back even that soon.
I was hoping that new memory card company ProGrade Digital would give photographers some good news about XQD at some point. And this simultaneously isn’t good news, but it also sort of is. ProGrade Digital have confirmed that they are not going to be pursuing the XQD memory format, which isn’t going to make some Nikon shooters happy. They are, however, working toward XQD’s successor, CFexpress.
CFexpress is backwards compatible with XQD – if the device manufacturer allows it – but with much faster transfer rates. This means that while there won’t officially be a ProGrade Digital XQD card, there should be XQD compatible storage coming at some point. That is, assuming Nikon updates the firmware in the D500, D850, D4, D4s, D5 and any other XQD bodies they may produce.
If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. At least, that seems to be the sentiment offered by Sony as it announces a new range of pro CFast memory cards. It’s a surprising move, given that CFast competes directly with XQD; A format that Sony had a hand in developing along with SanDisk (who don’t make XQD cards) and Nikon.
The new “G Series” memory cards are aimed at meeting the needs of demanding photographers and videographers. With read and write speeds of up to 530MB/sec and 510MB/sec respectively, these cards should be able to handle just about everything thrown at them. At least for now.
When Micron Technology announced they were discontinuing Lexar, one of the customers’ concerns was the availability of XQD memory cards. A recent post on Nikon Rumors caused even more stir, as they noticed all Lexar XQD cards were discontinued at B&H. However, a response from Lexar says there’s nothing to worry about after all – they will continue producing XQD cards after all and fulfill B&H’s inventory again.
As many of you know, I spent many years of my life as Director of Marketing at Lexar dealing with the ins and outs of the memory card business. And in all that time, I have never written a blog about the do’s and don’ts of memory cards. Now that I have left Lexar and not on that side of the business any more, I feel that I can write this objective piece for you without any conflict of interest.
And if you are taking digital photos on a memory card (and you probably are), YOU WILL WANT TO READ THIS!
Here is a sweet tip we got from Adam Frimer about managing your cards while on a shoot. You start with a bunch of clean formatted cards. Place them all in a hard case facing up. This way you can see the data on each card. (Those hard cases are about $10 on amazon)
After using the card and filling it up, return the card to the case with the text facing downwards. This will indicate that the card has been used and it is not empty.